Monday, June 1st 2015

ASUS Unveils Three High-end STRIX Series 7.1-ch Sound Cards

ASUS unveiled two new high-end 7.1-channel sound cards under its premium STRIX brand, the STRIX RAID DLX, the STRIX RAID Pro, and the STRIX Soar. The three are based on a common base card design, and differ with features and DSPs. The DAC component of the card consists of a native-PCIe multi-CODEC HD audio controller, wired to an ESS SABRE 9006a DAC, dedicated to the front audio output, with 116 dBA SNR; and a separate 110 dBA SNR DAC wired to the main headphones amplifier. On the RAID DLX, the front-out DAC is a higher quality SABRE 9016a.

The main amp can handle 600Ω impedance headphones. On the software side of things, is a Raid mode (positional audio), Sonic Radar (lets you pinpoint enemies based on audio, and a new Sonic Studio control panel interface. The RAID DLX and RAID Pro come with an external module with audio jacks, and physical switches to audio feature controls, besides volume control.
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29 Comments on ASUS Unveils Three High-end STRIX Series 7.1-ch Sound Cards

#1
Ferrum Master
116dB? CS4398 crap...

It looks like crap, and reeks of 10 years old tech... and dafuq that RAID name? Are they seriously retarded messing up proper industry standard names... even with all capital letters...
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#2
cuneytcam
No thanks, im not going to buy anything sound related from asus. Not with that support
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#3
sifu
sabre chips, ooo pulling out the big guns, theres alot of top quality DAC's on the market that use em.
still. i dont think i'd ever purchase a PCIe soundcard ever again
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#4
Breit
Does it have Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect?
Most cards from ASUS do have only one of these enabled. Maybe except for headphones, its probably better to send multi-channel sound to your playback device (e.g. a proper AV receiver) in digital form, let alone most AV receivers don't even have multi-channel analog inputs.

An even cooler feature would be the output of uncompressed 7.1 channel sound (PCM) via HDMI, but I guess this is too much to ask for a gamer sound card... ;)
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#5
thevoiceofreason
Ferrum Master, post: 3290112, member: 90058"
116dB? CS4398 crap...
It's not CS4398 but SABRE9006A/9016A, it says so right there in the press release... Sure, it's still a one-bit sigma-delta, but you could do worse than that.

Still, I would not buy an audio card drawing power from the pci bus...
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#6
Ferrum Master
thevoiceofreason, post: 3290123, member: 150822"
CS4398 but SABRE9006A/9016A
My rage blinded me. Still I missfired due to the fact of 116dB, how they managed to screw it?

I have no problems with PCI-E cards as long they replicate manufacturer schematics and do not cripple something, they are tweakable more than enough... even the power supply part. My X-Fi HD grandfather still works past 120dB... I can't measure more, do not have any better capture device with good ADC...

And I agree, all sound drivers are utter crap... And actually it is been a tradition since 90ties to be like that.

Oh lol, I only now saw the Soar card lololo I can see my self pranking any mate seeing this thing and telling - I see you have a sore problem in your case...
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#7
bogami
How well it performs one element is by no means an indicator of the real quality of a whole audio signal. Yet this is the IHF standerd and in the best conditions! 50 db while the worse conditions of the input signal. Typically, throwing sand in the eyes of the bidders.
I miss the card with a tube preamp signal and the higher for HD tone ,32 bit or more converters. Well, when the matter will be listend will be anything to said , because the sound does not for look, but to listen .
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#8
NC37
Ferrum Master, post: 3290144, member: 90058"
And I agree, all sound drivers are utter crap... And actually it is been a tradition since 90ties to be like that.
And no one can ever agree on them. Honestly hope I never have to shop for one again. Actually is worse than GPU shopping IMO just because both Creative and Asus have similar problems to go with their different strengths, and the problems never really change. Course not much they can do when most folks find onboard audio to be sufficient for their needs.
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#9
Ferrum Master
bogami, post: 3290164, member: 102090"
sound does not for look, but to listen .
I agree... but mostly it can be explained and measured with a scope, I don't believe in mojo things... and if a manufacturer cannot realize claimed specs on manufacturer DAC data sheet... they screwed something up, and I don't even expect to see something audiable...

I can support the tube thing... the best I've heard is a Sylvania 6SN7GTA (1954) driving an OTL end. But that's another story... each equipment if made correctly, shines on their own... This simply can't do that...

NC37, post: 3290171, member: 61225"
onboard audio to be sufficient for their needs.
Realtek also isn't the best player in driver department too... They all SIN... :respect: But nevertheless... if we pay money... a get crippled driver performace, like broken ASIO, WASAPI stuttering, sampling modes do not stick, they change on their own... While creative is just lazy... a new driver from them is like xmas, their 4GB problem, SSD no sound issue...
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#10
lZKoce
They sure look pretty, but I am an USB sound card person these days. It's happens to be more convenient at the moment.
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#11
Ferrum Master
lZKoce, post: 3290177, member: 102554"
They sure looks pretty, but I am an USB sound card person these days. It's happens to be more convenient at the moment.
Not for all peps... I use a lot of USB devices, flashing, debugging, service type of things... software resets and hangs up the bus so often, it leads to immediate BSOD. USB also unfortunately adds overhead and latency... blame M$.
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#12
jabbadap
Ferrum Master, post: 3290112, member: 90058"
116dB? CS4398 crap...

It looks like crap, and reeks of 10 years old tech... and dafuq that RAID name? Are they seriously retarded messing up proper industry standard names... even with all capital letters...
Maybe asus is co-operating with Johnson, and using squeeling coils that kills bugs... :laugh:
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#13
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
thevoiceofreason, post: 3290123, member: 150822"
Still, I would not buy an audio card drawing power from the pci bus...
These cards draw power from 6-pin PCIe power inputs. A tiny amount of slot power is used in an isolated circuit (for the HDA controller), just to tell the system that the device isn't dead. This controller doesn't do any DA conversion. It wires out audio to external DACs over I2S.
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#14
Ferrum Master
btarunr, post: 3290243, member: 43587"
DACs over I2S.
I2S is not designed to be used over long cables... The idea is flawed in its roots then. Jitter and crosstalk, here we come... especially from nearby breathing PC...
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#15
BorisDG
This card is like cheap-o Xonar gaming. :D
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#17
Ferrum Master
I wonder why don't make such things for sound... An UAA capable I/O interface.

Ultra small, so the air could travel freely.

Because it would be reasonable... LoL.
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#18
ZoneDymo
that extra module in the first picture looks straight stolen from Creative
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#20
SammyHayabuza
So..with these sound cards I guess we can expect a Strix 7.1 "analog" headset any time soon?
I've saved up for the USB version but would opt for this combination. Also thinking about the Phoebus+Tiamat.
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#21
RejZoR
Pointless cards. Who really gives a shit about SNR and 3 billion Ohms if the audio processing is total joke and we are in year 2015. We had better sound back in freaking 1998 with Sound Blaster Live! just because it was running in proper hardware mode and not this pile of emulated junk through 50 software layers of dung we have today. The largest part of the blame goes to Microsoft for sacking the hardware audio layer and the rest basically just had to follow that, because there was no point in investing any further into features like EAX 5.0 or proper hardware accelerated game engines. 10 more years and you'll be hearing MIDI samples again. A disgrace for the computing history...

I hate it how Creative was basically forced to take the route of SB Z cards (at least they have it good for old games with ALchemy where they still shine) and I bet you these ASUS cards use the same 15 years old audio processors... It's idiotic.
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#22
Tannhäuser
The orange thing is a tiny fortune wheel, a random indicator for what we can expect from ASUS regarding the support?

(Petting my Xonar Essence here. With 3rd-party-drivers ...)
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#23
ZeDestructor
Ferrum Master, post: 3290256, member: 90058"
I2S is not designed to be used over long cables... The idea is flawed in its roots then. Jitter and crosstalk, here we come... especially from nearby breathing PC...
.... You realize I²S is digital, right?

And for the length argument, you're talking PCB traces dammit. It's bloody short is what it is!
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#24
Ferrum Master
ZeDestructor, post: 3290529, member: 151464"
.... You realize I²S is digital, right?

And for the length argument, you're talking PCB traces dammit. It's bloody short is what it is!
The outer extension is connected via it?

You mean digital isn't immune to data loss? LoL wut?
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#25
ZeDestructor
Ferrum Master, post: 3290541, member: 90058"
The outer extension is connected via it?

You mean digital isn't immune to data loss? LoL wut?
The outer extension is carrying a very small amount of information (basically a few switches and signals for volume control). Stuff you can shove at incredibly low bit-rates, meaning much less bandwidth is needed, which makes it very resilient to interference.

A for the actual audio data, it is likely something similar to the old ROG Phoebus with the control pod running a simple extension of the analog cables - there just isn't any point in duplicating DACs for the tiny improvement it would make.

PS: I'm assuming what btarunr meant by controller was the actual audio controller IC, not the controller pod thing with the knob, which is the only thing that would make sense to have anything to do with PCIe.
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